This is what Australians said when asked how the banks can rebuild trust

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  • Deloitte launched its Australian Trust Index to measure customer trust and general influence factors.
  • The professional services firm surveyed banking customers to identify how to rebuild reputation and trust.
  • A key response was seeing the banks “consistently keeping promises”.

Deloitte has surveyed Australian bank customers to ask them about trust in the light of scandals, including the fee for no service, uncovered in the financial services royal commission.

Deloitte Trust Index author Willem Punt says the banking sector has undergone a rigorous and exposing investigation through the royal commission.

“It highlights the depth of the crisis of trust in the sector in Australia,” he says.

The Index indicates the greatest driver of perceptions of trustworthiness among bank customers is a mindset of consistently keeping promises.

“We specifically designed the Index to measure levels of customer trust and general trust influence factors so that we could deepen our understanding of the factors influencing trust,” he says.

The Index also gives a weighted national benchmark to use to compare individual organisational performance.

The inaugural Banking Trust Index 2018 considers what is most important to the average Australian when it comes to trusting their bank and banks in general.

“Trust improves when it comes to my own bank as opposed to banks in general,” says Punt.

More than a third (36%) of the 2,000 plus Australian banking customers surveyed believe their bank has their best interests at hear.

But only 21% believe banks in general have their customers’ best interests at heart.

Also 49% trust their own bank to keep its promises compared with 26% in general.

The index results:


“These results and those of the full index are particularly valuable given that culture and conduct will both get a very hard edge in the strengthened regulatory environment mooted by Commissioner Hayne who has signalled a greater role for the judiciary in ensuring accountability for significant and systemic poor conduct,” he says.

The way forward to rebuild reputation and trust in today’s business world is far more about communities and relationships and far less about transactions, says Deloitte.

The Index indicates the greatest driver of perceptions of trustworthiness among bank customers is a mindset of consistently keeping promises.

Punt says there is no indication that consumers do not trust banks to keep their money safe.

However, trustworthiness is expected to play a greater role in shaping consumer choices about where and with whom to bank.

“Being trusted becomes even more critical in an open banking environment where banks will have to contend with the possibility of losing customers to more trusted competitors, as the barriers to exit continue to fall and new entrants join the road to open banking,” he says.

“The Deloitte Trust Index on banking gives a clear message as well as cause for optimism.

“It identifies where to focus and so where the practical ways to recapture trust lie. Banking customers want banks to demonstrate the right mindset by treating them with respect and integrity. This is most important. Only then will the right price, technology and product become significant.”

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